Long-term improvement of quality of life during growth hormone (GH) replacement therapy in adults with GH deficiency, as measured by questions on life satisfaction-hypopituitarism (QLS-H).
Questions on Life Satisfaction-Hypopituitarism (QLS-H) is a new quality-of-life (QoL) questionnaire developed for adults with hypopituitarism. To determine the effects of long-term GH treatment on QoL, we evaluated QLS-H Z-scores in 576 adult patients with GH deficiency (GHD) enrolled in HypoCCS, an international observational study, using data from five countries in which comparative QLS-H data from the general population were available. Baseline QLS-H Z-scores were significantly lower in GH-deficient patients than in the general population of the same age, gender, and nationality. Z-scores were also significantly lower in female patients vs. males (P = 0.006) and in adult-onset vs. childhood-onset GHD (P = 0.002). Multivariate analysis associated female gender, multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies, low serum IGF-I values (<75 micro g/liter), and concomitant antidepressant medication with low baseline Z-scores. QLS-H Z-scores increased from -1.02 +/- 1.43 (SD) at baseline to -0.25 +/- 1.34 (SD) after 1 yr of GH treatment (P< 0.001) and were no longer significantly different from the general population after 4 yr of treatment. There was no correlation between change in Z-score and GH dose or changes in IGF-I and IGF binding protein-3 during treatment. This study demonstrates that 1) improvements in QoL, as measured by the QLS-H, are maintained during long-term GH replacement therapy of adults with GHD, and 2) the QLS-H is a useful tool for evaluating QoL in hypopituitary patients treated in clinical practice. The authors suggest that evaluation of QoL should be a part of the routine clinical management of adult GH-deficient patients, complementing the measurement of surrogate biological markers or other clinical end points.